Salvador de Bahia is a city and UNESCO world heritage site in eastern Brazil South America. Salvador offers the following points of interest for tourists and photographers;
- Pelhourinho, UNESCO world heritage site and historic center
- OLODUM cultural group
- Portuguese language schools
- Capoeira dance schools
- Lacerda elevator, Rio Branco Palace and Model market
- Cathedral of Salvador
- Church of Nosso Senhor do Bonfim
- Porto da Barra Beach and Rio Vermelho
- Igreja de N. S. do Rosário dos Pretos (catholic church)
There are many hotels in the Pelourinho, you can normally just arrive without booking and you’ll find one, if you do prefer to book ahead, most hotels offer online booking.
The Lacerda Elevator connects the upper part of Salvador (Pelourinho) with the lower part of the city. You can walk up and down or take the elevator. The view from the top is amazing, you can see out over the ocean and beach. There is a plaza at the top of the elevator where you can watch people performing Capoeira (a tip will be expected). Rio Branco Palace and is located on the plaza at the top of the elevator, the model market is located at the bottom of it.
The main reason I visited Salvador is because this is where Michael Jackson filmed his music video ‘They Don’t Care About Us’. Olodum, the band who feature in his music video play live in the streets of Salvador free of charge, at least once a week (above). The part of Salvador featured in Michael’s music video is the historic center of Salvador, the Pelourinho. The Pelourinho was the first capital of Brazil in 1549 and remained the capital for over 200 years. Today the Pelourinho is well maintained and is a UNESCO world heritage site.
The blue catholic church in the Pelourinho is stunning, opposite this is the balcony where Michael Jackson performed during his music video. You can pay $5 to take a picture on the balcony where he stood. The entrance to this house is a Michael Jackson / Olodum shop, I bought the red and the white Olodum shirts from here as Michael wore in his music video. I stayed in the Hotel Pelourinho, which you can see clearly in his video when he’s dancing on the streets. It’s not a great hotel, I only stayed there because Michael Jackson was singing and dancing right outside it in the video.
As I am on the subject of dancing it worth mentioning that Salvador is famous for learning Capoeira, the Brazilian martial arts dance. Check in hotels and restaurants around the Pelourinho for any adverts for Capoeira classes. If you plan on staying in Salvador a while you could also take Portuguese classes.
I took the Penha bus service from Salvador to Fortaleza, this was a 21 hour service, and the bus was again luxury with plenty of leg room and movies (in Portuguese).